Best Omaha Poker Site Reviews
Our PokerListings Editors' picks above are the best places to play Omaha Poker of all variations. Including Hi-Lo, Hi-Lo Split 8 or Better, Pot-Limit Omaha and more. Rooms are ranked on best selection of Omaha games, potential for soft and winnable games, availability of tables and more.
For those of you just learning the game, you can find the information you need to get in the game including Omaha basics, rules for Omaha Hi-Lo, the difference between Pot-Limit Omaha and Hold'em, beginner Omaha advice and the top Omaha starting hands further down this page.
How to Play Omaha Poker Online
For all the strategy you need, check out: A Complete Guide to Pot-Limit Omaha
The basics of the game are easy to grasp if you're familiar with Texas Hold'em. The betting rules are exactly the same, as are the poker hand rankings. But there is one major difference - the number of hole cards. In Texas Hold'em you're only dealt two cards, but in Omaha you get four. This means that you will have more potential hand combinations when you create your best hand using your hole cards and the board cards.
But also remember that you must use two cards from your hole cards to make up your final five-card hand. In Texas Hold'em you can choose to use only one card, or even play the board (using no cards from your hand). This isn't possible in Omaha. Obviously this makes a hand such as four aces a bad starting hand, even though it might look good. Instead, you’re looking for hands with both immediate value and plenty of drawing potential.
A good example of a hand like this would be Ah Ac 10h Jc. This hand starts with a pair of aces and has multiple ways it can improve to a straight or a flush. In fact ace-ace-ten-jack double suited is the third-best Omaha Hi starting hand possible.
Remember there are only two differences between Hold'em and Omaha:
- Every player is dealt four cards in Omaha (instead of two in Hold'em)
- There are more rules for evaluating the winning hand at showdown.
Why Play Omaha Online?
There are some significant advantages to playing Omaha online versus playing live. It might seem silly, but physically holding a four-card hand can be a bit unwieldy. It's difficult to hold four cards up without exposing any to another player and it's awkward to "peek" at four cards by turning up their corners the way one does in Texas Hold'em. Online, your cards are displayed right in front of you - easy for you to see and impossible for your opponents to see.
In addition, when you begin playing Omaha, you'll want to start at a low limit while you get the hang of the game. In many casinos, only one or two Omaha games are spread and they are typically high-limit games. Some casinos don't spread regualar Omaha at all even and only offer its split game version, Omaha Hi-Lo. Online, you're much more likely to find the Omaha betting structure and limit you need.
Omaha can be played in either a high or hi-lo version. Omaha Hi-Lo is also called Omaha Hi/Lo, Omaha High-Low and Omaha Eight-or-Better (O8). In this version of the game the pot is split between the best high hand and the best qualified low hand. To qualify for the low your hand must consist of five cards under eight with no pairs. Since straights and flushes are ignored for the low, the best low hand is A-2-3-4-5. If there is no qualified low hand, the best high hand wins the whole pot. When several players have the same winning hand, the pot is split between them.
Much more so than in Hold’em, Omaha is a drawing game. The majority of winning Omaha hands are made on the turn and river, rather than the flop. With all players having four cards instead of two, the quality of winning hands is greatly increased over Hold’em. For this reason you want to be playing “nut hands” almost exclusively. If your flush draw isn’t ace-high, chances are someone else’s is.
When playing Hi-Lo it’s important to understand that your goal is to win the high half of the pot first with a re-draw to have a shot at the low. It’s common for multiple players to have the same best low hand, in these scenarios you will lose significant money if you’re not taking down the high half of the pot as well. See our dedicated Omaha Hi-Lo page here for all the rules, strategy and best places to play Omaha Hi-Lo online:
Pot-Limit Omaha vs Texas Hold'em
- More players will consistently see the flop in Omaha. The gap in strength between starting hands is shallow in Omaha, meaning your hand is almost never at a huge disadvantage before the flop. For this reason, almost all Omaha flops are seen by multiple players.
- With more players seeing flops, the average pre-flop pot size is typically much larger than in Hold'em. The bigger the pot going to the flop, the bigger the bets will be post-flop, making Omaha a more expensive game at the same limits as Hold’em: it plays bigger.
- You need a stronger hand to win at Omaha. The majority of Hold'em pots are won by a two pair or weaker hand. These types of hands do not hold up as often in Omaha, meaning there is a paramount need for made hands with redraws.
- Omaha is a more hand-driven game, affording you far fewer opportunities for bluffing. If there are three to a suit on board, you can almost always assume someone has the flush.
- With the game being so draw heavy, it’s important to understand the situations where you have a clear statistic advantage in the hand. When you are in such a situation, you need to be making strong bets to extract the maximum amount of value possible.
Key Advice for Pot-Limit Omaha
- Be very selective with your starting hands. It's easy to get overzealous looking down at four cards, seeing all of the possible combinations of draws.
- Beware of danglers! Hands such as Ah Kh Qc 2h should mostly always be folded. The 2h doesn’t help the hand in any way, in fact it removes on flush out from the hand. A dangler like this turns your 4-card hand into a 3-card hand, putting you at a huge disadvantage.
- Spot the Hold’em players. It’s common to find players at Omaha tables playing as if they were playing Hold’em. Notice these players and understand that they will greatly over value the quality of hands such as top pair, or two pair.
- Respect displays of strength. If someone is betting strongly in Omaha, it’s most likely because they have a strong hand.
- Don’t think of your open-ended straight draws as the nuts in Omaha. There are many situations in the game where a player will have 20+ outs.
- Omaha is a nut game; it's almost never a good idea to be playing any draw that's not to the nut in this game.
Omaha Starting Hands
Below are the Top 20 starting hands in Pot-Limit Omaha.
NOTE: All hands below must be double-suited.
Pot-Limit, No-Limit & Limit Poker Bets
To maximize your profit in pot-limit poker games, Limit games and No-Limit games, you need efficient betting strategies, regardless of the poker variant. You have to calculate your optimal bets in real time and make sure you never put more into than pot than needed to do the job. Whether you play No-Limit, Limit or Pot-Limit, some solid betting fundamentals can take you a very long way. Here we'll walk you through a few professional secrets for each betting style.
We'll start with Pot Limit poker as it might, in fact, be the trickiest of the three. For readers needing to brush up on how betting rules work, check out either of these articles:
How to Control the Pot with Bet Size
The most commonly played poker variation in the world is Texas Hold'em, and the majority of games you'll find are No-Limit Texas Hold'em. Since No-Limit Hold'em has become so popular, many don't even realize there are any other betting structures. Playing an airtight No-Limit game is crucial to your success, so make sure you have a full grasp of Texas Hold'em Rules.
The importance of pot control in No-Limit Hold'em can't be stressed enough. Even though you can bet any amount, from the big blind to your entire stack, the size of the pot typically dictates the size of bets to be made during the hand. In No-Limit, players commonly size their bets as a percentage of the current pot size. This means that the size of the bets you make will increase exponentially as the pot progresses to later streets. Take a look at this chart:
|% of Pot Bet
|Flop $ | Bet $
|Turn $ | Bet $
|River $ | Bet $
|Total $ Bet
|$10 | $3
|$16 | $4
|$24 | $6
|$10 | $5
|$20 | $10
|$40 | $20
|$10 | $8
|$26 | $20
|$66 | $50
|$10 | $10
|$30 | $30
|$90 | $90
All amounts with a decimal place have been rounded up. When you play poker online you could bet the amount including cents. In live poker, the smallest chip on this table will be $1. Due to the exponential increase across multiple streets the final betting amount of 50% is actually 73% less money than that of a 100% bet amount. Because of this dramatic increase the amount of money you bet on the turn has a far greater impact on the final pot amount than most players tend to think.
One of the common themes of No-Limit strategy is pot control. Because Pot-Limit is more pot odds-based than No-Limit, pot control is a crucial component of a winning strategy. You make money in poker by letting your opponents make mistakes and capitalizing on them. If your opponents are making pot-odds mistakes, you want to be sure not to give them the implied odds to compensate.
No-Limit Requires Implied Odds
Being successful in No-Limit poker requires as much understanding of implied odds as of pot odds. Simply put, pot odds is the relationship between the amount of money in the pot and the amount of money it requires for you to continue on in the hand. Meanwhile, Implied odds is the relationship between the amount of money you have to pay to continue in the hand versus the amount of money you stand to make if successful.
In a Limit or Pot-Limit game your implied odds are limited by the maximum bet amounts while in No-Limit they're only constrained by the effective stacks in play. "Effective stack size" means the maximum amount of chips that can possibly be played in the hand. For example: You have a stack of $500 but your opponent only has a stack of $200. Neither you nor your opponent can bet any more than $200. That makes your effective stack $200.
In No-Limit, if your hand has high equity (like pocket aces), your goal is to maximize the pot to make money. A hand such as small suited one-gappers has considerably less equity. However, it has the ability to make an invisible large hand. These hands with little equity are rarely in a situation with very favorable pot odds. Since such a hand like is hard to suss out when it hits a monster, it can be easy to coax other players into betting and calling large amounts. These implied odds turn hands that in a Limit game would mostly be losers into glorious winners in a No-Limit game.
The All-In in Limit vs No-Limit Poker
The most obvious advantage of No-Limit over other forms of poker is that it allows you to move all-in. The fact that you can move all-in has two major implications for No-Limit play:
- Players can protect hands by betting more than the pot, absolutely eliminating any pot odds.
- Once a player is all-in they are officially un-bluffable.
The ability to become un-bluffable allows players to eliminate positional advantage. It also forces the other players to make a difficult choice based purely on the merit of their hand. Once a player is all-in only the best hand on the river will win - it's as simple as that.
Knowing when to move all-in and when not to merits an article unto itself. It's extremely situational. When starting out the best rule of thumb is to only ever move (or call) all-in when you're as sure as you can be you have the absolute best hand.
Limit vs No Limit Poker: Every Bet Counts
Ever since the 2003 poker explosion Fixed-Limit poker has taken a back seat to action-heavy and TV-friendly No-Limit. But even though Limit poker's not as popular as it once was, it's still very much a force in the poker world. All poker variations can be played with a Limit betting structure whereas not all games work as well played as No-Limit. Limit poker is the ideal betting structure for beginners to become acquainted with poker. It's more based on math and logic so players with less experience can play a more solid game from the get-go.
The most notable advantage of Limit for beginner players is a dramatically decreased loss rate. You just can't lose your chips as quickly in a Limit game as you can in No-Limit. In No-Limit your mistakes are amplified without a concurrent boost to your results. Meanwhile, Limit allows for a more consistent, gradual learning curve and lets you see and play far more hands of poker with a significantly lowered amount of risk.
The first thing you need to understand about betting in a Fixed-Limit game is that every bet, even if it may seem insignificant, counts. Read the article below for more on this:
Pot Limit Poker Odds Are in Your Favor
The absolute worst pot odds you will ever be offered (post-flop) in a Limit game will be 2-1 on your money and it's only possible in a very specific scenario. More often than not a player will receive 3-1 or better at any given point. The reason for this is simple:
In a $2/$4 Limit game the big blind is $2. Let's say all players fold to the small blind, who limps. The big blind checks and we go to the flop ($4 in the pot). The small blind bets out on the flop ($2). This gives the big blind 3-1 odds to call ($6-$2). A player will receive 2-1 odds only if both players would have checked on the flop.
In this scenario, with the small blind betting out on the turn ($4), the big blind is now looking at paying $4 for a pot of $8, or 2-1 odds. As soon as you have more players in the hand the odds increase. 3-1 and the rare 2-1 are the absolute worst odds you can ever get in a Limit game.
Limit Hold'em is a Game of Draws
Much more than in No-Limit or even Pot-Limit, drawing is a very large part of the game in Fixed-Limit. Hands like flushes or an open-ended straight draws are close to 2-1 to complete (flop to river.) So you always have good odds to draw to your hands on the flop.
If you went to the flop heads-up and still only have your 8- or 9-out draw, on the turn you no longer have correct odds to chase if your opponent bets. Though you're still getting 3-1 on your money, your odds of hitting your draw have dropped to as low as 6-1. If you have a third player in the hand, on the turn you'll be offered 4-1 or even 5-1 odds if that third player calls before you in the hand. For a flush draw 5-1 odds mean you'll just about break even. If you can occasionally pick up a bet on the river you'll make some money in the long run.
The key you should take away here is your opponents will almost always have the odds to draw to hands. As a Limit player, you must accept the fact that many pots will be won and lost to draws - both legitimate and backdoor. To be a winning Limit player you must make sure that you always have the correct odds when you choose to draw. And that you charge your opponents the maximum to draw against you. Minimize your losses, maximize your wins and laugh your way to the bank in the long run.
How to Make Good Pot-Limit Bets vs No-Limit Poker
If Limit is a primarily mathematical pot odds game and No-Limit is a primarily read-based implied odds game, Pot-Limit is somewhere in the middle. By forcing players to bet at or below the pot amount, you lower the implied odds %. While still allowing for a reduction of straight pot odds.
For example if you're making a bet into multiple players on the turn in a Limit game it will be impossible not to give your opponents overwhelming pot odds. If four players all see a turn, with only one person betting and the other three players calling the whole way, a bet on the turn will give your opponents 5-1 odds. (In a $2/$4 Limit game there would be $16 in the pot + $4 bet, for $20-$4 odds.) If any raises have been made along the way it's not uncommon to be offered 10-1 or greater odds in a Limit game.
In a No-Limit game of the same blinds it would be possible to bet your entire stack into a $16 pot, giving odds of $216-$200 - barely more than 1-1. This is why No-Limit is considered an implied odds game. In Pot-Limit, the same scenario would allow you to make a maximum bet of $16. This would give your opponents 2-1 odds ($32-$16) to make the call. As you can see, the odds are between those in Limit and No-Limit, although much closer to No-Limit than to the middle.
Anytime you make a pot-sized bet in Pot-Limit, your opponent has the option to repot. If pot control is your concern, meaning you're not in a hand worth playing a large pot for, allowing your opponent to bet +8x the pot amount preflop is the opposite of your goal. Always remember: even though the odds may not change, any bet you make can allow your opponent to charge you double or more in return.
If making big pots is your goal, your No. 1 job is to entice your opponents to bet into you. The restricted max bet amount of pot-Limit helps players have less fear than in a No-Limit format. So they're more willing to make and call bets in Pot-Limit. For this reason, you should spend extra effort in perfecting your pot control.
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